In recent posts, I shared my story about how the Lord encountered me one day in 2003 at a Joyce Meyer conference in Pensacola, Florida. He baptized me in the Holy Spirit and fire, gave me a prayer language, and completely wrecked me for Jesus.
Everything changed that day. The Holy Spirit filled me with passion for God and started giving me more of His fruit than ever before. He also gave me some of His gifts, including the gift of tongues–which is actually one of the last gifts in the Scriptural lists; but it's still very important and tremendously helpful. (He only gives good gifts!)
Today, I want to share how I learned to use my prayer language.
The thing about spiritual gifts is that they come to us in raw form, but you have to learn how to use them. It's just like what would happen if you gave your child a bicycle, but she had never ridden a bicycle before. She would be ecstatic!–but then would come the learning.
Spiritual gifts work the same way. As I said in my previous post, when I received the baptism of the Holy Spirit, I began to spontaneously speak in another language that I didn’t know. I was pouring out my heart and passion to God. It was a holy moment, a supernatural thing that magnified Jesus and made me feel closer to God than I had ever felt in my life.
But it was just those couple of syllables over and over.
I wasn’t sure what to think of that, but in the teaching tape Joyce Meyer’s volunteers handed out, Joyce taught that when the Lord gives you a few syllables, you should use them and He will give you more. She said it works the same way a baby learns to speak English. That baby may only say “da-da” or “ma-ma” at first, but over time, he develops a full command of the language so that he is fully able to say “Give me a burger, fries, and a large orange drink.” 🙂
Well, that made sense to me. So I talked in my two or so syllables to the Lord much of my drive back home from Pensacola.
But the problem was, when I got home, I didn’t feel that flow anymore.
Those syllables weren’t pouring out of my belly anymore, and I didn’t know how to get that flow back. Nevertheless, just trying to be a good steward and also to obey what Joyce had taught, I kept using them some when I prayed over the next few days.
Fast forward a few months. I don’t remember exactly how things progressed for a few months, but I do remember that in October of that year, I visited my church for the first time (the place I love, which has become the house of my fathers). And the worship was outstanding. We have and had a huge choir, and the worship was so powerful and Spirit-led. And it was very much accepted to stand up and worship with hands uplifted and hearts poured out to the Lord.
So I did.
And when I entered into that flow of worship and focused on the Lord, all of a sudden that divine flow that I felt when I got baptized in the Holy Spirit came back …
… and those syllables of my prayer language flowed out like a river.
No effort required. Just me and Father God, connecting at an intimate level.
It was awesome, and I loved it. I hadn't been able to replicate that flow at home at that time, but boy-oh-boy, could I ever enter in at church. So I did.
Things stayed that way for awhile, but it got easier and easier to begin speaking to God in this other language He had given me. I had to get past a lot of “is this just me?” thinking and learn to purposefully connect with Him with my spirit and heart. But as soon as I did, I found speaking to Him in that prayer language was flowing more and more.
Then one night, out of the blue, I was asleep in my bed and I woke myself up shouting in my prayer language and calling on the name of Jesus!
I literally woke myself up! And the words and syllables that I spoke weren’t just the same two or three syllables I had had before, either. This was a torrent, a river. It was a complete language with inflections and recognizable patterns and all the words I needed. It just flowed out of my belly to Father God, and I could feel Him … and I felt like I could sense what I was praying about, too.
From that day until now, I’ve never had any more challenge in using my prayer language fully. It has completely flowed, and I use it very often when I get alone with God and pray (and when I worship Him, too). It’s tremendously effective and it gets answers quickly.
But in order to get there, I spent a long time just praying in my few syllables and trying to honor what God had given me. And when I stewarded the small thing He had given me, He gave more.
I obeyed two huge kingdom principles–1) that what you bless will increase in your life, and 2) that a grateful heart brings more of what you're grateful for–and God came through. He will do the same thing for you too.
We talked on Monday about why Scripture says speaking in that prayer language—the gift of tongues—is so important for believers. But for now, is the Lord speaking to your heart and giving you a desire to pray in tongues? If so, pray this short prayer with me:
Heavenly Father, in Jesus’ name, thank You for saving me. Thank You for making me Your child, and thank You that I do have the gift of Your Holy Spirit.
Heavenly Father, Your Word says we should earnestly desire all the best gifts. I know that every gift You give is a good and perfect gift, and I want everything You have. So Father, I ask in Jesus’ name that the Holy Spirit would give me the gift of tongues right now and help me to pray in the prayer language that You have for me. Help me to speak the words of my prayer language back to you boldly, and to have full command of it. And give me discernment and teach me how to use it rightly.
Thank You, Father, for hearing and answering my prayer. Thank You for giving me this gift. Thank You that in the Spirit I will use it to speak directly to You, and please help me to be a good steward of what You have given me and use it often and in good order according to Your Word.
I love You, and I give You all the praise. In Jesus’ name, amen.
If you just prayed that prayer with me, go aside and get alone with the Lord and begin to speak to Him out of your spirit (which physically feels like the deepest place of your belly).
Open your mouth and speak in faith, believing and knowing that He has answered your prayer. When words or syllables come out that aren’t your native language, just go with it. Focus on Him and let your spirit commune with Him. Pray and speak to Him in faith, knowing that He hears and answers the prayers of His children and earnestly desires to give you this good and perfect gift, so He will.
Does my story help you or encourage you to know that there's no pressure and you can start small? Where are you on this journey of practicing God's gifts of the Spirit in faith? Leave a comment below and let's grow together!
Read all posts in this series about the power gifts!
- Diverse Tongues (Speaking in Tongues)
- What Is the Baptism in the Holy Spirit (and How To Receive It)
- My Story: How I Received the Baptism in the Holy Spirit
- Words of Knowledge
- How I Learned to Use My Prayer Language
- The Gift of Prophecy
- Discernment of Spirits
- How Words of Wisdom Accomplish the Impossible
- How Interpretation of Tongues Helps You Know Father's Heart
- Miracles that Bear Witness for Jesus
- Easy Faith for the Impossible
- Healings That Change the World